(ESL) English as a Second Language Online Schools

As we evolve in these ever changing and interesting times, people are finding new ways of learning from their home or “on the go” on their hand devices.

 Cheaper internet costs, convenience and flexibility for students wanting to study and converse online are just some of the advantages of why online schools are become a major medium of teaching the world over.  

 Where in the past ESL schools were unregulated, many governments have laid down the law with online schools. Most countries have rules when hiring online ESL teachers. One of the rules is that teachers must be qualified with a TEFL / TESOL or CELTA certificate.

There is always a high demand for qualified native and/or fluent English teachers from the mainly the six native English-speaking countries, (UK & Ireland, Canada, United States, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa). Most online schools are always actively recruiting qualified TEFL teachers from these six countries.View our website ESL Job feed for latest job listings.

 Online schools, like any business, cater to different customers. Most will teach young learners only and others will perhaps focus on adults or business-people. Some online apps will offer conversation English practice only. This is easy tutoring and can be done on a cell phone. However, teacher pay tends to be at the bottom end of the scale with these conversation apps. You should do some research as to which sector you would want to teach.

Teacher pay from online schools vary widely and can range from $10 to $30 plus per hour depending on the online school, country, your qualification (with or without a degree) and level of experience. 

Rules for Chinese Online schools as of July 2021.


China issued a set of rules that aims to ease homework and after-school study hours for children, a policy dubbed the “double reduction.” This means China has barred profit companies from teaching China’s school curriculum, blocked foreign investors from holding stakes in firms offering such classes, and forbidden after-school tutoring on weekends or during vacations. The Chinese government’s idea is to both make educating children less costly for parents, to reduce the pressure on children from an early age and to make tutoring companies non-profit.


Some of the major schools that are facing an uncertain future include Magic Ears, VIP kid, Whales English, Gogokid and several others. This has naturally had a profound impact for teachers teaching Chinese children online. But does not affect those who teach adults.


Other online schools/companies


While some of the biggest employers of online teachers were based in China, there are

many online schools based in other parts of the world that are still hiring teachers. These

companies are mostly based in the Americas, Europe and other Asian countries. Below is

a list of just some of them.


Non – Chinese online companies


·       Edusity – Canadian


·       SkimaTalk – Japanese


·       All Right (European students)


·       Preply


·       Cambly (US based – kids around the world)


·       Profy – Latin America.


·       Teachable


·       Nil English – South Korea (prefer American or Canadian teachers)


·       Engoo – Japan


·       FluentBE – Poland


·       Open English – Latin America (adults and kids, also favour American or Canadian teachers)


·       StarKid – Hong Kong


·       Edukita – Indonesia


·       Lingoda – German (adults)


There are other ways you can teach English online:


Freelance platforms


Platforms like PrePlythat connect you directly with students. They don’t hire you but instead provide a platform for you to connect with students and charge you a percentage of your income for their services. They provide the booking systems, advertise for students, and provide training and support. This option is a blend between working for an online school and having your own online teaching business. If you don’t want to start your own business but want to have your own private students, then this is the best option for you.


Other Teaching platforms


Outschool (can work on your own or join an organisation on the platform)




Your Teachable Moment




Your own online tutoring business


This is the most profitable of the options but also the riskiest. You oversee every aspect of your business. You need to do the marketing, scheduling, process payments and do the teaching yourself. But you can charge whatever you want and work with whoever you want. With this option and Freelance platforms having a niche or specialization is the key to getting the students you want with the income you want. 


As a freelancer or independent, you set your own hourly rate so you can charge what you are worth. You set your own hours and schedule. You choose what you want to teach by finding a niche or specialization that fits your passion. By extension, you then choose your own students. You can teach children or adults, business English or you can use your experience and knowledge from your previous or current profession to teach English specific to that industry. There really is no limit to what you can teach online.




The information is to be used as a guide. TEFL SA is not responsible for errors and /or omissions. It is always advisable to research the company or school you plan to accept work from.

The Management. TEFL SA (Pty) Ltd

View the Job feed on this website Here